In the EU there is no commission for 'Mental Health', 'Psychiatry' or 'Nursing'. Mental Health is one of the responsibilities of the Directorate General for Health and Food Safety of the European Commission (DG Sante ec.europa.eu/dgs/health_food-safety/index_en.htm). Mental Health is perceived as effecting the public not just in terms of morbidity, treatment and Human Rights but also in relation to safety, exclusion from society and economic costs.
These are issues strongly related to our daily lives, contribute to a safe living and working environment and a healthy economy, and need to be tackled so that Human Rights are respected and those suffering from a mental illness are not marginalized in society. The EU is challenged by these issues. It facilitates collective debate, consideration and policy development whilst encouraging States to act within their own policy to research and enhance care, develop co-operation to maximize the health of the European population.
Individual States retain the right to implement policy, or not. It is important to understand that it is the public who decides who represents them in the EU and ultimately the public who determine policy. It is up to the professionals, and in our case, psychiatric nurses and mental health nurses, to give both the EU and the public the best possible information about mental health service provision and it’s nursing.
Horatio will ensure that psychiatric and mental health nurses are recognized as an important, highly motivated group committed to the pursuit of best standards and best practice in mental health. Horatio has, and will continue to, work with the EU Commission on project, policy activities and professional platforms.